Local Heroes #42 – Designer Paul Zeper of DEZEEP

While this idea was born in the warm waters of the North shore of Maui, Paul Zeper has brought it to life in his hometown Amsterdam. We introduce to you DEZEEP, a fashion brand for individuals.

Published by Robin on 05/01/2016

Paul is a fine young gentlemen we have known for many years. A surf-enthusiast and a creative mind, with a vision on how today’s fashion should be perceived and worn in acceptable style. From Amsterdam to the rest of The Netherlands, to the rest of the world.

In the midst of launching a complete collection with its consumers, we felt it was time to interview this rising talent from our city.

Hello Paul, please talk us through on what inspired you to start a clothing line?

It started from a common need, that you miss something or knowing products that you like, but slightly want to have it altered to my own wishes.

Where do you take inspiration from? You’re a graphic designer by trade, do you use these qualities within the DEZEEP brand?

I take inspiration from a lot of things. Either new collections from existing brands, from surfing or from tourists with a bad taste, who are walking through our city. I always see certain details that I can use in my own collections. It’s the combination of all these external impulses and factors where I take inspiration from.

Besides that, being a graphic designer helps a lot, since the brand needs to have a graphical identity. The DEZEEP logo functions as a foundation of shapes, lines and corners.

What is the tone-of-voice? Is DEZEEP a brand for everyone or do you focus on a specific group of people?

Were a surf-chique brand, but not a surf brand. Comfortable in the mix with chique.

DEZEEP clothing is very accessible from a look & feel point-of-view, but I do focus on a specific target audience. The stores that represent us, correspond with the audience we’re after. I just make sure that the visual identity, its aesthetics, are correctly executed.

Where does the name DEZEEP stand for and how would you describe your logo?

Both name as logo are complementary. The name stands for surf and graphical features, with ‘keep it clean’ as an important brand pillar. I see the logo as the ‘life’ of what this brand represents, the city & surf-chique.

It would be great if people could have their own interpretation of the logo, same for the name. I think it’s really cool if people can envision their own experience around a brand.

DEZEEP is Amsterdam based. How do you make sure that some city elements return in your collection?

Amsterdam and Dutch design is somehow clean. At the inside of one our jackets we have a print of Amsterdam, but I also don’t want to make the connection with the city too much.

Do you notice that your clothing style is something that is trending people in Amsterdam?

I personally think we’re at the forefront and that the style is developing. With new visuals and story-telling, I’m convinced more people will commit to this style.

I think it’s really cool if people can envision their own experience around a brand.

What is New Amsterdam all about?

New Amsterdam is a concept which represents the new generation ‘Amsterdammers’, individuals making their own choices.

DEZEEP is a fashion brand for individuals and New Amsterdam is a collective around that, that celebrates these individuals, through music, art, design and more. New Amsterdam will focus on a lifestyle part, whereas DEZEEP focuses on product & design.

How would you describe the fashion culture in Amsterdam?

I think Amsterdam is climbing a ladder, but it’s very broadly oriented. It’s clean and minimal.

In my opinion, there’s this uncomfortable competition climate in Amsterdam. We should celebrate each others success and not be too envious.

Which other brands should we keep an eye out for?

Daily Paper is really doing great, Olaf Hussein recently opened his store and when it comes down to footwear, look out for ETQ and Filling Pieces.

What are your big plans for the future?

I want to launch 2 collections this year and there’s a plan to open a shop, but that really depends on how this year turns out. At first in Amsterdam, than the step beyond borders.

The first priority now, is to successfully finish the Kickstarter campaign that’s currently running.

There have been several reason for deciding upon crowdfunding. Ofcourse using it as a means to get funding for production, but involving our consumers from the start, is in my opinion a beautiful consideration.

The Fall/Winter 2016 collection will be presented at the fashion fairs at the end of this month.

The Spring/Summer 2016 collection will be launched in a month time.


Thank you Paul for your time and your energy is infectious. We will follow your path step-by-step and can’t wait to get our hands on one of the newly launched collection items.

Kickstarter campaign: kickstarter.com/projects/dezeep/dezeep-a-fashion-brand-for-individuals

- Robin -

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